November 29, 2016

Two New Suntech Rods from TenkaraBum -- rod #1

I really like the GM Suikei Kieryu Special rods from Suntech. I bought my first one in April of 2013, just after they were brought to the US by TenkaraBum. It was the GM39 and I have found that rod to be the best "all-arounder" for the streams I fish and the fish I catch. It casts a light line really well, but it doesn't bat an eye at a tungsten beadhead nymph. If I'm fishing new water that's fast flowing, or has the rumor of larger trout, I take the GM39.

Because I like the GM39 so much, a few years later I purchased a GM44. It too is a triple zoom rod like the GM39, but it starts at 360 cm, then to 400 cm, and finally finishes at 440 cm. I have found it to be just as versatile as the GM39, albeit a little heavier. I have also found that once a rod goes over 400 cm I pretty much have to use two hands to cast it (unless its crazy light and balanced like the Gamakatsu Ryokei 45 or Dawia Sagiri 45MC). With the GM44 I can cast the rod nicely at 440 cm, but I much prefer the shorter lengths. I really like this rod for wide open rivers that have faster current.

One of my favorite streams in Oregon, where I always use the GM44.

Now, TenkaraBum has the new Suntech GM Suikei Keiryu Special 27! Yes, that's right, a 270 cm rod in the same family. However, unlike it's longer siblings, the GM27 is a fixed length rod. I would die and go to heaven if Suntech released a zoom rod for small streams, like 240-270-300 cm, but I don't think that would ever happen. That rod is not part of their marketing strategy. But the good news is that the GM27 is a really excellent rod!

I'm not going to give a detailed description of the GM27 because it looks very similar to its sibling rods. That said, it is a sharp looking rod, like all of Suntech's rods. The butt cap is smaller and does not have a zoom post and the tip plug is just that, a plug -- not a Fuji FTC-12 universal cap.

Tip plug (left) and butt cap (right)

The rod is very lightweight, coming in at 28.4 g without the tip plug. It is perfectly balanced and casts a light level line, oh, so wonderfully. Because the rod is on loan I did not fish with it (as a don't want to damage my trust with Chris) but I did cast the rod for quite some time in the front yard. I used a #2 level fluorocarbon line and the rod fairly flicks the fly to its destination. It's a very nice casting rod!

Fully nested, the rod is 54 cm. Fully extended it's 274 cm. I measure it at 13.5 pennies, giving it an RFI of 4.9. That's pretty close to perfect, if not dead on!  It's a gem of a small rod and would be really a great choice if your small streams don't have really fast currents or 14+ inch fishing them.

So there you go. Another outstanding rod option for those of you (like me) who relish small streams and the fish that inhabit them.  You can get a Suntech GM Suikei Keiryu Special 27 from Chris at TenkaraBum. Hurry, I bet they'll go fast!

Addendum: Chris wrote and gave me permission to fish the rod, so I'll see if I can get it on the water soon. It has snowed recently and a lot of my smaller streams may be hard to get to now. But I'll give it a go and keep you updated.

Disclaimer: My opinion regarding this rod is just that, my opinion. Your opinion may differ.  Also, your rod may not have the same length, issues, or functionality as my rod. There are variations between rods, even in the same production run. No description can fully tell you how a rod feels or fishes. For this, you must personally hold, cast, and fish the rod then make up your own mind. 
I receive advertising revenue from TenkaraBum, but this does not imply a favorable review of their products. I was loaned the rod for review and it was returned to Chris.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Tom,

    Personally, I would like to see Suntech bring out a 3-position Zoom rod that starts at 2.7 meters and goes on down, not up. Something like 2.7, 2.3 and 2.0 meters would be more handy for me on the really tight streams I fish and compliment the GM 39 rod that I already own and dearly love.